Rezoning request denied by Brainerd council
A request to rezone property in Brainerd called into question the process that zoned it that way a couple of years ago. At a Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted to deny a request to rezone two areas of land. Voting against the m...
A request to rezone property in Brainerd called into question the process that zoned it that way a couple of years ago.
At a Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted to deny a request to rezone two areas of land.
Voting against the motion was council member Kelly Bevans. Council member Dolly Matten was absent.
The move to deny the rezoning request follows suit with the Planning Commission's recommendation.
At issue is 317 North Eighth Street and the southwest corner of Juniper Street and North Eighth Street.
Property owner Greg Jedlenski wants to rezone the land from single family residential to multiple family residential. A medium density residential rezoning would be OK, too, he said at Monday's meeting.
The Planning Commission voted to deny the requests for many reasons, including:
• One of the parcels has two rental licenses, with a third license in dispute.
• The property, along with other properties in the area, was rezoned from multi-family residential to single family in 2011 as part of a citywide zoning map amendment process.
• No rational basis to rezone the property back to multi family residential was given by the property owner.
It was a unanimous recommendation by the planning commission to deny request for the vacant lot. It was a 5-1 vote to deny the request for 317 North Eighth Street.
Those recommendations went before the council Monday.
One of the key issues is the 2011 comprehensive zoning map review, when the land at issue went from multi-family residential to single family.
Most of the land in the area is single family, said City Planner Mark Ostgarden. Rezoning it to multi-family would not be in compliance with the comprehensive plan future land use map, he added.
He added that a decision by the council to rezone the land again would mean that the 2011 rezoning process was flawed in some way, whether it be public notification or an incorrect process.
"Those are the issues that should be used in deciding to rezone this or not," he said to the council. "The planning commission said it was not flawed. That's the basis for their decision."
Jedlenski argued Monday that he wasn't aware of the 2011 rezoning process until it was too late, noting that he was training for two weeks at Fort Ripley.
Ostgarden cautioned the council that if they chose to rezone that property, it would send a message to everyone else who had property rezoned in 2011 that they, too, can have their land rezoned again.
"That's what this boils down to," he said. "So if we focus on that, I think it will be much easier for you to reach a conclusion."
Jedlenski said he bought the empty lot a few years ago when it was zoned multiple family, with the intent to one day build some type of apartment building on it. Now he can only build single family, and that's not going to make sense financially, he said.
More than a dozen letters from area residents were sent to city hall, all speaking against the rezoning request. Some residents spoke at the planning commission meeting.
Several of Jedlenski's tenants were at Monday's meeting, but were unable to speak because it was not a public hearing.
Council member Mary Koep said many residents had no idea about the 2011 rezoning process, despite the efforts the city made to notify people.
The city "bent over backward" to alert people to the process and spent a lot of time at the hearings, she said.